Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"2004 Indy 500 Winner" Buddy Rice Born - January 31, 1976

January 31, 1976
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
Buddy Rice is the son of a former drag racer. Rice's grandfather was from Indianapolis and passed on his interest in racing to Rice's father. Rice saw his first race when he was six years old. He started racing in go-karts when he was 11. Rice played baseball in high school in Phoenix, Arizona, and attracted the attention of college and professional scouts. However, both Rice and his father decided he would pursue a career in racing instead.

Rice's professional career began in 1996, when he drove in one U.S. F2000 event; he finished eighth after starting second. He also drove in the Dodge Shelby Pro Series, winning from the pole at Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1997, Rice drove in F2000 for Lynx Racing/DSTP Motorsports, finishing fourth in points and winning at Phoenix. He also won the 1997 Valvoline Team USA Scholarship, where he represented the United States in Europe’s Nations Cup.

In 1998, he won from the pole at Nazareth. He finished seventh in Toyota Atlantic points, and won the Gilles Villeneuve Memorial Award. He finished fifth in the Toyota Atlantic championship in 1999, driving for Lynx Racing. He won the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Series championship, which gained the attention of Red Bull Cheever Racing. 

He is best known for winning the rain-shortened 2004 Indianapolis 500 while driving for Rahal Letterman Racing, and the 2009 24 Hours of Daytona for Brumos Racing. In his free time, Rice collects and restores classic cars. After his Indy 500 win, his sponsors told him that they would buy him any car he wanted, he chose a 1949 Mercury Eight.

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